IBM today announced that a POWER5 microprocessor-based server tuned for Linux® has surpassed many performance records for an entry-level computing system. The powerful new IBM eServer™ OpenPower™ 720 provides a Linux-based alternative to higher priced HP and Sun entry-level UNIX® and Linux systems, helping clients to attain greater business productivity and lower costs. With this new server, IBM brings a decade of 64-bit architecture experience and mainframe-inspired reliability features to an entry level server.

With OpenPower, a POWER5 microprocessor-based system tuned for Linux, IBM brings enterprise-class reliability, availability and serviceability features previously typically found in higher-end systems. In the future, OpenPower systems will help clients lower operational costs through the OpenPower virtualization option, a component of the IBM Virtualization Engine™ designed to allow clients to use fewer systems and lower deployment costs. (1)

IBM OpenPower systems are easily implemented into existing environments, providing a highly scalable, 64-bit POWER5 platform for Linux, which is available through Red Hat or SUSE LINUX distribution. Using POWER5 technology, OpenPower beats HP and Sun on crucial industry benchmarks:

*SPECompM2001: Beating the fastest posted HP result by 52%, the 4-way OpenPower720 holds one of the fastest Linux OS results in the industry (2)

*SPECjbb2000: The 4-way OpenPower720 beat the fastest posted HP result by 16%, the fastest posted Sun result, and is one of the fastest 4-way Linux results for operations/second against all other 4-way SPECjbb2000 results (3)

*SPECsfs97_R1.v3 SMP: The 4-way OpenPower 720 holds one of the top Linux results in the industry with an overall response time of 0.79 msec, and in the process beat HP’s best posted result by 65% (4)

“As Linux matures to support mission critical applications, IBM’s new family of OpenPower systems takes Linux to the next level with servers tuned for Linux and running on the POWER5 microprocessor,” said Brian Connors, vice president, Linux on POWER, IBM. “OpenPower is a revolutionary option for businesses, particularly in the financial and retail industries, who are looking for lower-priced, more powerful alternatives to HP and Sun UNIX systems.”

Operating System Support
Clients can leverage an extensive relationship IBM has with both Novell SUSE and Red Hat on distributions of Linux supporting the new OpenPower server.

“Novell delivers enterprise-ready software and services for Linux that provide clients with solutions that spark innovation and help drive the business,” said Hal Bennett, Vice President of Alliances for Novell. “IBM’s Linux tuned OpenPower server at industry-standard price points is the kind of solid foundation clients are looking for as the workload on Linux in their firms expands. Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, which is based on the Linux 2.6 kernel, provides support for the POWER5 architecture and IBM Virtualization Engine, offering customers a reliable, flexible and proven 64-bit server foundation that significantly enhances the Linux experience.”

“IBM’s Linux on POWER initiative and the IBM eServer OpenPower server offer Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers more great choices when building open source architectures,” said Deb Woods, vice president of product management at Red Hat. “Corporate and government organizations alike are looking to take advantage of the security and value Linux offers. OpenPower with Red Hat Enterprise Linux makes it possible to deliver the advantages of Linux on a low cost, flexible and reliable hardware platform.”

Pricing and Availability
The initial IBM eServer OpenPower offering will be the OpenPower 720—available with either 1.5 GHz or 1.65 GHz POWER5 microprocessors. The systems will be available in a 4-way rack or tower option with maximum memory of 64GB. The OpenPower 720 supports Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3 Update 3. Compared to similarly configured 4-way systems the OpenPower 720 is up to 65% less than a 1.5 GHz HP rx4640-8, up to 55% less than a 1.5 GHz Dell 7250 and up to 17% than a 2.4 GHz Sun V40z server. (5)

In the first half of 2005, IBM plans to introduce a 2-way OpenPower system. The OpenPower 720 systems will begin shipping on September 24, 2004, with a three-year warranty and a starting U.S. list price on the hardware of $5,000. The OpenPower virtualization option will be available in 4Q04 with a planned starting U.S. list price of $2,000. (1)

Client Choice through Linux on POWER
OpenPower is the newest member of the Linux on POWER family of offerings.

IBM’s recently introduced eServer p5 and eServer i5 systems, based on the new POWER5 microprocessor, provide clients a powerful option for Linux-based computing, which can lower operational costs and increases performance. Across the entire IBM eServer pSeries® and eServer iSeries™ platforms—from entry level and mid-range to high-end—IBM offers clients the flexibility to run Linux natively or in a logical partition with the AIX 5L™ OS for eServer p5 and pSeries, and in a partition along side i5/OS™ and AIX 5L partitions for eServer i5 servers, with IBM’s POWER microprocessor technology as a foundation for each system.

IBM’s eServer BladeCenter™ JS20—based on PowerPC® microprocessors derived from POWER4 technology—gives clients a high-density, low-cost solution that complements the offerings of the eServer p5 and pSeries and eServer i5 and iSeries platforms and enables a wide range of solutions that lets clients both scale-up and scale-out through a single, proven 64-bit architecture. The POWER5 microprocessor-based systems run both 32- and 64-bit applications.